July2009

July2009 (5)

coverwebWhile we've been preparing for the summit, we spent plenty of time making sure the July issue of FJC Magazine is full of great articles & ideas for you to get your truck ready for the summer. We've got a new couple of new contributors this issue as well. Many of you know Athena Innis from Ouray & Moab, she not only wrote an article for us this time around, but her BC FJ Cruiser is the featured rig! Al (aka SwiCago) also shares a little information about his DIY “Ghetto” Roof Top Tent with us.
 
Other articles in this issue include:
  • Cruise Moab 2009
  • Expedition Medic From Lance Blair
  • Front Bumper Comparison
  • Off Road Lighting Update
  • New Product: BriteBox from Toytec
  • Aluminess Front Bumper Initial Review
  • Off Road 101: FJ Cruiser Storage Solutions

As always, we have two downloads available - absolutely free:

  • For reading on your computer, you'll want the standard edition of FJC Magazine -Download Here
  • For printing, the print-ready version with a white background - Download Here
    NOTE: Internet Explorer users should right click and select "Save Target As"

printed_copyw

 

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Initial Review: Aluminess Front Bumper

Written by
DSC_0211When we were deciding on a front bumper for our TRD, one of the more important issues for us was weight.  We’ve added a Toytec adjustable lift with upgraded springs to the front, but the idea of a 150lb bumper plus an 80lb winch had us a little concerned. That’s quite a bit of weight to add to the front of any vehicle, especially considering the stock bumper weighs in at about 35 lbs.
When Aluminess announced their new front bumper, we got excited very quickly. Not only does it look great (very similar to some of our other favorite bumpers), but aluminum is so much lighter than steel. Once the specs were announced, we knew this was the front bumper for us.
 
The fit & finish of this bumper a great as well. The entire thing is powder coated and very smooth. It actually performs like a non-stick coating, so getting mud/dirt/bugs off the bumper super easy. There’s a great access door in the top of the bumper for the winch, and it comes with an Aluminess aluminum fairlead as well.  The bumper matches the lines of the FJ nearly perfectly, and it sits about ½” from the front bezel all the way around. Some aftermarket bumpers have been known to rub on the front of the FJ, this one will not have any issues with that.
Installation was very straightforward. It ships with all the grade 10 hardware to bolt right on to the FJ using stock holes. There’s only one hole you’ll need to bore out a little for the bracket to go on properly. The rear support bracket gives the bumper extra strength when bolted to the frame, so you won’t have to worry about anything shearing off during a hard winch pull. While the instructions didn’t specify any torque values, we used the same as the stock bumper, which was 48 ft/lbs. for the all bolts.
After getting the bumper installed and trimming the inner fender flap, we were ready to hit the road. During our first month with the bumper we got to head to Moab for Cruise Moab 2009. It performed flawlessly and everyone was very excited to see this new offering for the FJ. Several FJ owners at the event were talking about selling their current aftermarket bumpers so they could upgrade to the lightweight aluminum. The approach angle is much better than the stock bumper, and will exceed the need of nearly every style of wheeling. We only ‘tested’ the strength of the bumper one time. We managed to bury the front end in about 6 inches of dirt coming down an obstacle on Fins N’ Things. The entire weight of the FJ was on the front of the bumper as we bounced in to and out of the dirt, the Aluminess bumper didn’t miss a beat. Apart from dirt caked in the shackle holes, there wasn’t a scratch on it and it held up great.
Despite the fact aluminum is more expensive and more difficult to machine than steel, the Aluminess bumper is priced competitively. The version we have (without the brush guard) retails for $1,200, but Aluminess has offered it as low as $1,080. This price is very competitive with some steel bumpers that weigh two or three times as much, so it really is a good investment.
If you’re going to the 2009 FJ Summit in Ouray, look for our TRD & the Aluminess front bumper for an up close look. While the pictures look great, seeing it in person makes all the difference.
UPDATE: We took the bumper back off to get the winch installed (See Oct 09 issue) and took a pic showing how light it is:
lightweight aluminess bumper for FJ Cruiser

UPDATE: See our UPDATE to this article in January 2010 issue

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Cruise Moab 2009

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Cruise Moab 2009 - FJ CruisersNearly every off road enthusiast dreams of visiting the 4x4 ‘mecca’ of the US – Moab, UT. Although we’ve been wheeling for years, we never were able to find the time to make the 7 hour trek over the mountains until this year for Cruise Moab 2009.
There are many 4x4 events held in Moab every year, and many others around the country. For a Toyota enthusiast, it just doesn’t get any better than Cruise Moab (CM).  People come from all corners of North America to participate in this annual event sponsored by Rising Sun 4x4 Club, and they all bring their toys.
 
Unlike the FJ Summit, most of the rigs at CM were older, hard core, trail ready trucks. While there were many FJ Cruisers, the great part of the event was running with everything from a nearly stock FJ-40 to complete custom 4Runner buggies. We even got to hit the trail with a classic FJ-45 truck!
 
We were not able to arrive until Wednesday night, so we missed out on some of the pre-running, but made up for it in a hurry. Early Thursday morning after registering, we hit US-191 south toward Canyonlands National Park, and Elephant Hill. This trail is rated a 4/10 by the Cruise Moab Committee, but is not like a ‘normal’ Easy (4) that we run in Colorado (see more on trail ratings in the sidebar). This trail has some very tricky obstacles, including a portion that you have to back down (or up on the way out) that proved to be a little confusing at first.
 
Luckily our Toytec lift, new BudBuilt skids and Aluminess front bumper provided all the clearance and protection we needed. We had no issues at all with the trail or the way our TRD performed. The group we were with was quite large, at over 20 Toyota trucks. About halfway through the run, Angie & I decided we needed to get our two dogs back on BLM land (they’re not allowed to roam the National Park), so we split from the group & headed out. As soon as we did 4 other FJ’s decided to roll out with us, so we ended up finishing the trail as an FJ only run. It reminded us of the Summit :)
 
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July 2009 : Volume 2 Issue 3

Written by
Summer is in full swing and all around the country FJ Cruiser Owners & Enthusiasts are taking to the trails! In just a couple of weeks many of us will be making our way to scenic Ouray, Colorado for the 3rd Annual FJ Summit.
 
While we've been preparing for the summit, we spent plenty of time making sure the July issue of FJC Magazine is full of great articles & ideas for you to get your truck ready for the summer. We've got a new couple of new contributors this issue as well. Many of you know Athena Innis from Ouray & Moab, she not only wrote an article for us this time around, but her BC FJ Cruiser is the featured rig! Al (aka SwiCago) also shares a little information about his DIY “Ghetto” Roof Top Tent with us.coverweb
 
Other articles in this issue include:
  • Cruise Moab 2009
  • Expedition Medic From Lance Blair
  • Front Bumper Comparison
  • Off Road Lighting Update
  • New Product: BriteBox from Toytec
  • Aluminess Front Bumper Initial Review
  • Off Road 101: FJ Cruiser Storage Solutions
As always, we have two downloads available - absolutely free:
  • For reading on your computer, you'll want the standard edition of FJC Magazine -Download Here
  • For printing, the print-ready version with a white background - Download Here
    NOTE: Internet Explorer users should right click and select "Save Target As"

printed_copyw

Just a reminder that FJC Magazine supporters have full access to all the online articles (including MANY more photos), the online Flash Version, and less advertising on the web site. We also e-mail breaking FJ Cruiser news to all supporters. We ask for an annual donation of just $12 to become a supporter. More details are here.

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Readers Rig: Don's SuFu "Wikid FJ"

Written by

{tab=Don's SuFu "Wikid FJ"}

Current Mods:

  • Total Visions Products
  • Baja Camera System
  • Custom four monitor overhead console, with a center section for switching, cb, and keypads
  • Two digital keypads controlled by ecu’s to choose four views from eight different camera locations.
  • Quad channel DVR with 120 gig HD, GPS tracking and motion sensing for on.
  • Custom headliner with sound deadening and insulation
  • Allan Phillips Racing X-1 engine management system
  • AFE  Pro Guard  CAI
  • Magnaflow with custom hightuck 3” tailpipe
  • Camping Labs  Roof top tent
  • BajaRack expedition syle rack
  • Lowrance Baja540C  Off-road Navigation
  • Engel refrigerator custom mounted where the drivers side rear seat was
  • National Luna dual battery controller custom mount
  • Sears Platinum marine battery  custom mounted over the passenger rear fenderwell (where the subwoofer would be)
  • (2)Blue Sea  eight circuit fuse panels
  • Lightforce 170 strikers
  • PIAA 520 lithium ions
  • Onzium LED interiors
  • Dashboard lightbulb
  • Inchworm E-locker guard
  • Scubadriver mod
  • Bodymount chop
  • Cobra CB, Wilson 1000 antenna
  • Custom Gear box with tailgate
  • Body color matched door handles mirror bases and blacked out mirrors
  • Old school white bezel
  • Hood scoop mod
  • Recovery gear and tools


Planned Mods:

  • Suspension
  • HD Camera’s
  • Sliders
  • 35" Tires
  • Lower gears


Sponsors

http://www.totalvisionproducts.com/
http://www.aprpower.com/
http://www.campinglab.com/
http://www.bajarack.com/

 

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Readers Rig: Jon's VooDoo Blue

Written by

{tab=Jon's VooDoo Blue}
Hometown: Queen Creek AZ
Home Club: Bayou State Land Cruisers
Year: 2007
Color: VDB
Tires: 33" MT ATZ
Wheels: 18'' XD Addict
Lift: 4" Rough Country Lift
Shocks: Adjustable BilsteinFront Bumper: Metal Tech
Rear Bumper: OEM
Skids: Custom T-Case & Trans
Rails: Metal Tech
Winch: Smitty Built xrc8 w/Amsteel
Rack: OEM w/4X HID & custom light bar

{tab=Photos}
{gallery}/issues/2009/jul09/readers/jon/{/gallery}

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